The fabulous Jules Faber does the illustrations, and the book is due out from Random House Australia in August.
Many more pix below the break!
I’m just coming out of a very busy – but delightful – fortnight where I was a guest at Supanova Gold Coast and Melbourne. It’s good to see this popular culture extravaganzas having a healthy reading and writing stream (thanks to Ineke Prochazka) with so many fans flocking to chat with authors and have books signed. For me, it’s a chance to catch up with people I’ve known a long time, like Isobelle Carmody or David Cornish, but also to meet people I’ve known about for ages, like Jim Butcher. We do panels together, we chat between sessions, we share seats on the bus – it’s a very convivial time in a world of books, reading and writing, which is one of the many reasons I have the best job in the world. At least, for me it is.
Even though Supanova (and the other similar festivals/conventions/hootenannys) have their celebrities, guests and megastars, the days really belong to the fans who come along in stonkingly great numbers. Tens of thousands of them roll up in their finery and have a couple of days of sensory overload.
While there, I get to see many, many, many of these fans as they stroll past the author area. I’m always impressed by the effort that many put into their costumes. Many hours of dedication is needed to achieve the perfection that they attain, and their reward is the approbation of their peers. Read More | Comments
Finding the right language level is a crucial aspect of writing for young people, but I maintain that this doesn’t have to mean dumbing down. In fact, as my young reader pointed out, encountering an extended vocabulary can be part of the joy of reading.
Writing in a quasi-Edwardian mode, as in the Laws of Magic and The Extraordinaires series has given me licence to indulge one of my great loves – words. The old fashioned settings allow me to use words that simply wouldn’t be appropriate if I were writing in the here and now – and it encourages me to use the subjunctive, as I just did in this sentence. Read More | Comments
After reading Keith Stevenson’s thoughtful piece on the importance of editing, I began thinking about this process from the point of view of a writer. That is, I wanted to share some thoughts with you not on the subject of editing, but on the subject of being edited.
This is timely for me as I’m in the middle of editing what will be my thirty-second book. There are certain things – like stubbing your toe – that don’t get easier with practice. Being edited is one of those things, but at least with editing there is the promise of something bright and good at the end. Not like stubbing your toe.
Before I start, though, there is one thing I have learned from going through this process thirty-one and a half times. It’s something that I think every writer needs to have tattooed on his/her forehead, backwards so it can be read the mirror: SOMETIMES, YOU ARE NOT THE BEST JUDGE OF YOUR OWN WORK.
Realising this is a vital, epiphanic moment for all writers. The sooner it comes to you, the better. No matter how much you know your work (and it should be pretty well, really), no matter how well you know your characters, your theme, your settings and the vast transformative arc of gobsmacking awesomeness that is your book, sometimes, in fact, you are the worst person to judge it.
For a start, as the writer, you cannot be the reader. The very things that made you the writer – the knowledge of everything that went into the book and everything that didn’t – means you cannot be the fresh, wide-eyed reader who has simply picked this book up because of (ahem) the wonderfulness of your previous work. Or because the cover had a picture of a cat on it. If you strain really hard you can perhaps be aware of a potential reader’s expectations or even their experience in reading your work, but you cannot really put yourself in their shoes. It takes someone else to do that. It takes an editor. Read More | Comments